The Caltrans official overseeing the Fix50 freeway project is asking commuters to use this weekend to plot their strategies for next week’s lane closures.
Three of the five through lanes on eastbound Highway 50 between 18th and 24th streets will be closed for repaving as of just after midnight on Tuesday morning. Those closures will be followed in the coming weeks by others in both directions on the downtown freeway.
Caltrans chief Jody Jones said one-hour traffic delays could occur if not enough Highway 50 drivers alter their commute in some way.
“We are really encouraging people to use this weekend to look at the trips they make and find other ways to do it,” she said.
She suggested using buses or light rail, biking, telecommuting, working flex hours or finding secondary routes to work.
Jones said it is impossible to know how bad freeway and surface street impacts may be.
“It really depends on how many people change their behavior,” she said. “If folks heed the warnings, there is sufficient capacity on the structure to take the traffic.”
She said Caltrans is not offering detour suggestions because it does not want to create traffic jams on surface streets.
Instead, the agency is encouraging commuters and other drivers to pick their own alternative.
“People who live here know what local roads will get them where,” she said. “They won’t all take the same route. You want people to disperse.”
The closures will take place in four phases between Tuesday and June 25. For information about the project, go to www.fix50.com.
Call The Bee’s Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059.